Thursday, September 10, 2009

Getting Ready for Muskoka 70.3

Getting Ready for Muskoka 70.3

I am in my final stages of getting ready for the Muskoka 70.3 Half Ironman event on Sept 13th. Reading that first sentence back it sounds like I have been following some Master Plan leading up to the event, but I can assure you that I have not. Today I swam about 2km in rough conditions in Lake Ontario. It was a beautiful day but the wind was causing some white caps. There were several Kit Boarders out enjoying the conditions. By late afternoon the wind had kicked up so much that there was a haze of sand in the air being swept up off the beach and blowing inlands. When I went for a swim earlier in the day the conditions were not quite so severe, but it was still a bit of an adventure bobbing up in down in the swells.

I have been feeling more relaxed than ever before in the water thanks to my break through last week with regards to breathing steadily instead of in a gasping pattern. I was not bothered by the waves, the swell or the lack of visibility; I was unable to see my extended hand in the water. I spent most of my effort concentrating on making my new breathing pattern an established habit. I am excited to see how the breathing adjustment will help me on race day.

I mentioned that I swam 2km, however that is just a guess. There were no markers in the water to indicate what distance I had covered; I am merely making a best guess based on how long I was in the water for. Maybe with the new Garmin water friendly GPS watch I could solve the mystery. Unfortunately I just purchased the Garmin 405 less than a year ago, which cannot be used in the water. I would be nice if Garmin would allow me to trade in my 405 on newer water proof GPS training watch. Garmin appears to be following the model established by companies like Pentium and Apple, where they create demand by outdating there own technology. Garmin could build a lot of loyalty by establishing a trade up program.

Later in the day I completed a run speed workout on my trainer. All of my run training is done on a trainer as it doesn’t end up hurting my right ankle. This strategy enables me to train more frequently. The incline on my treadmill is always set at 1; the only change I make is to the speed and duration of my workouts. Today I ran 7 x 1km with a 60 second break in betweens reps. The 60 second break sometimes extends a bit as it takes a bit of time to slow down and then speed up again. I never stop my treadmill suddenly from a high speed; instead I allow just hold down the arrow on the speed button and let the machine take the designed time to slow down. My treadmill is 10 years old; I have replaced the particle based running board that it came with after I cracked it. The new running board is made up of tw0 poplar plywood ½ inch sheets glued together for extra strength. The next part to go will probably be the conveyer as it has been losing grip and gets pretty slick when wet.

My pace for the first 6 x 1km runs was 3:33/km or 10.5 miles per hour (as listed on my treadmill). I had only planned to complete 6 reps because last week I was 200 meters shy of doing so. I felt good enough to add an extra km at a reduced pace of 3:39km or 10.2 mph.

I find the 1st km of the speed workout to be the most difficult. During the 1st km I have to work hard to suppress the sudden realization that today is probably not the best day for a run speed workout. Once I get past the 1st km, the next few don’t hurt quite so bad and then the final few start hurting more and more. I found this workout on as part of a series of workouts designed to get you in shape to reach a new goal for a 10km distance. I decided to stick with this workout because I think that it has been instrumental in helping me be more competitive. My goal this year is to get down to a 35min 10km, in order to do so I am supposed to be able to completed 6x1km in 3:15-3:20. I am still a ways off from that but making progress none the less.


  1. Bruce, I still can't believe how fast your running has gotten from treadmill only training. I was also using that program for running and I think it is working as my times started to come down after being stuck for some time during the spring and early summer. I had saved it in my fav. links and have 2 full cycles done. As for swimming, it is coming along. I read a whole bunch of the stuff on Mr Smooth and it is starting to sink in. Just the breathing seems to be taking longer to get under control, even with the tips.

    Anyway, just doing some late night reading. Good luck this weekend. I hope to be up cheering by the time you guys are coming back from the 94k ride. I know I will be amazed at your positioning when I see you heading to transition. Go get em!


  2. Thanks for all the encouragements Larry.